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20th - 23rd September 2007100% Design, Earls Court, London, UK
In Flux was curated by Dianne Harris, Kinetica's art director, and commissioned by Tom Dixon, the director of 100%design, in 2007. It formed part of the 2007 100% Design show at Earls Court.
To be IN FLUX is a state of being. It is a moment of transience, change and movement. The natural world is constantly in flux as the transformation of nature and the sun and moon indicates the passing of time which governs our very existence. It is constant and infinite. It is this manifestation of Flux that motivates the artists exhibiting in this, Kinetica's eighth group show.
IN FLUX, A STATE OF BEING
From its earliest manifestation, the making of art has been an attempt to approximate, understand and demystify life through a process that produces sensual metaphors at best, or desperate copies at worse. Along with this artistic activity, there has existed an inner desire for eternity and remembrance. This need to immortalize and preserve particular elements of life for posterity can partly explain the search for stillness in static imagery - to the point of establishing immobility as the criteria of excellence.
Life, however, is by no means static; it is in a perpetual state of motion, evolution and transformation. While these continuous changes are the evidence of multiple movements and constant flux in all domains, they also apply to our conscience, thought process and creativity. We live ‘kineticly’ from instant to instant every second of our lives.
If anything, according to subatomic findings, reality is not what we see in ‘ordinary consciousness’, as there are great spaces that exist between the particles that make up atoms, molecules, organs, materials and objects that surround us; it is the very speed at which these particles travel that determines their state of existence. It is only fair to acknowledge that this non-reality has long been recognised by poets, artists and shamans around the world for a very long time. The true nature of reality is invisible to our eyes, it can only be seen with our heart.
With the turn of the twentieth century, major discoveries came about that would significantly influence how people saw and understood the world and nature of life. Two such pioneers who helped to change certain values in art were; Etienne-Jules Marrey and Eadweard Muybridge who recorded the motion of various living mammals and several physical phenomena such as the flow of fluids. Their sequential photographs allowed them to analyse the mechanics of motion as the action was broken down into individual frames. About the same time, early cinematography was giving the illusion of real motion by projecting a precise number of still images within a given time period.
The industrial revolution, with all its technological paraphernalia, tremendously excited and steered the imagination of many artists, as a result the visual arts experienced its own revolution. Technology, speed, motion and time became the focal points for new groups such as the Modernists and Futurists, the non figurative work of Kandinsky challenged traditional composition and helped pave the way for abstract expressionism, the first kinetic sculpture involving real motion was completed by Naum Gabo and followed shortly thereafter by the work of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Len Lye and many others. Through this relatively sudden shift over the course of the last century, it has become more and more evident that the quest for artists to express life as closely as possible centres on the exploration of motion - witnessing Leonardo Da Vinci’s statement "Movement is the cause of life”.
Many art historians have traced the origins of kinetic art to years before 1919, by differentiating between virtual and real movement expressed by artists. For the purpose of this exhibition, the artists exhibiting concentrate on real motion translated either mechanically or through light. All the works shown are the perfect expression of 'flux' as a state of being. Yet, in spite of the unorthodox materials and technologies used, one can trace historical ties with precedent artists. For example, Tom Wilkinson’s light sphere with Gabo’s 'Virtual Volume', Peter Sedgley’s time-based colour changes with Monet’s paintings of haystacks or of Rouen's cathedral done at different times of the day to analyse the effect of light on colour, Roger Vilder’s anamorphoses with ‘concrete art’ concepts of visible and tangible forms which previously did not exist. Andrew Fentem’s LED eyes, reminiscent of Dali's ‘Mae West’, Virgine Rondot’s electronic flower patterns with Ellsworth Kelly’s flower drawing, Jason Bruges electric bulb garden involves large environmental spaces encountered in Bruegel’s or Canaletto’s paintings, Hans Kotter ‘s minimalist luminous light line with Joseph Alber’s compositions and Chris Levine’s peripheral LED light experiences with Robert Indiana's graphic works.
These precedents or ‘influences’, conscious or unconscious, do certainly not take away from the originality of the works. On the contrary, they express the fluidity in the evolution of art. Seeing these works in their own motion while being conscious of our organic functions and thought processes in continuous action gives us a truer sense of what life is about, that is the eternal state of flux.Roger Vilder - 2007Catalogue Essay In Flux: A State of Being
Jason Bruges Andrew Fentem Ginco Hans Kotter Chris Levine Peter Sedgley Roger Vilder Tom Wilkinson